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Range DescriptionThe huemul is endemic to Chile and Argentina and currently only inhabits the Andes of Southern Chile and Argentina (Vila et al. 2006). The subpopulation in the Nevados de Chillán area (VIII Region of Chile) has the greatest degree of spatial isolation, with a distance of about 425 km from the nearest subpopulation to the south in Nahuel Huapi national park (Argentina, 40º30'S, Dirección Nacional de Fauna Silvestre). The southern part of Lanin national park (Argentina) may still have a subpopulation, but this needs to be confirmed (Roberto Nogara pers. comm.). The remainder of the current distribution also has a high degree of fragmentation apparently mainly due to past human activity, with the coastal populations in Chilean Patagonia presenting the lowest fragmentation, with the most continuous stretch of populations in areas that are nearly void of human presence due to the remoteness of a rugged terrain and the extreme weather conditions (Corti et al. 2005).. The degree of isolation of subpopulations within much of the region, or its effects, are, however, unclear.
The historical distribution range of huemul covered a latitudinal range of 20 degrees along about 2,000 km. In southern Patagonia huemul reached the Atlantic, and whereas they occurred in the Patagonian steppe to the north, it is presently uncertain how far east they might have reached (Diaz and Smith-Flueck 2000).